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Embryo culture aims to provide conditions for the production of embryos that have the same developmental potential as in vivo embryos. In vitro conditions for embryo culture should take into account the well-recognized oxygen tension and the potential exposure of embryos to environmental pollutants such as VOCs. Advances in embryo culture media have led to improvements in embryo development, but other factors in the IVF laboratory such as laboratory apparatus, gases, and procedures could also affect the outcome of embryo culture. Measures of success for embryo culture should account for the number of embryos transferred, such as implantation rate, sustained implantation rate, fetal loss rate, and babies born per embryo transferred. The trend in ART is towards blastocyst stage transfer as it provides better evaluations of development, including morphological, morphokinetic, metabolic, and genetic assessments.

  • Use of a complete culture medium containing all 20 amino acids.
  • Close consideration of all laboratory and clinical factors.
  • Provision of a low-oxygen environment.
  • Ensuring a low or zero level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the environment.
  • Allowing embryos to culture until at least Day 5.
  • Use of blastocyst vitrification (freeze-all) as the preferred method for cryopreservation.
  • Consideration of optional transfer of a single frozen-thawed euploid blastocyst.

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